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FSN Seminar – October 21, 2022 at 1 pm EST

A Meditation on the Corruption of Our Character:

An Attempt to Assess the Dangerousness of Conservative Populist Politicians


Ruben Nelson, Executive Director, Foresight Canada

Youtube link:

Abstract:  In this webinar, Ruben Nelson, one of Canada’s most distinguished Foresight practitioners, will dig into three questions related to the above topic, namely: 

  1. How should we assess the rise of conservative populist politicians in Canada?  
  2. In combination, is the noisy ruckus and the apparent success of Pierre Poilievre, Danielle Smith and François Legault just a new kind of ‘business as usual’?  
  3. Or is it a sign, as Dr. James Alexander Corry, then past Principle of Queen’s University, put it in his 1973 lecture when being honoured by the Royal Bank of Canada, that “Something has gone wrong!”  If the latter, what sense can we make of what has gone wrong?  

Ruben will “draw a long bow” on these questions.  He will suggest that beneath the titillation of much of the political nonsense of our times lies a truly rare evolution in human consciousness and culture.  He also will suggest that such a transition, if it is to be successful, requires a quality of leadership which must be extraordinary.  

Since the development of such leadership is not on the agenda of any sector of Canadian society, we should not be surprised that feckless politicians, as well as those who would use them, have grasped the deep turmoil of our times to advance their own fortunes.  In short, we are in far more and far deeper trouble than these politicians understand.  Sadly, we as citizens share a superficial understanding of the danger we are in.  

Bio:  Ruben Nelson has long been fascinated by the many ways we and our world are changing and what this evolutions mean for our future.  He is one of a handful of Canadians who, in the 1960s and ‘70s, pioneered serious futures thinking and its application to the practice of strategic Foresight.  

He has used his insights in every corner and sector of Canada to assist those willing to work with him make reliable sense of their adjacent futures.  Ruben’s research has led him to the view that, if we are to sustain success in the unique conditions of the 21st Century, we must develop new mental maps of where we are in history.  

For over six decades, Ruben has taught philosophy and comparative religion, worked for Pierre Trudeau, helped formulate Canada’s policy on Multiculturalism and been a leader in the Canadian Association for Futures Studies, the International Association for Humanistic Psychology, the World Futures Studies Federation and the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science.  Ruben is a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science and the World Business Academy.  

Ruben was born and raised in Calgary, educated at Queen’s University, Kingston, Queen’s Theological College, Kingston, and United Theological College, Bangalore, India.  Today, Ruben is Executive Director of Foresight Canada.  He and Heather have been married for 61 years.  They live with their three cats Lac Des Arcs in the Alberta Rockies.  They have two, now adult, children.  


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